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Journal Article

Anthropomorphism or Preparedness? Exploring Children's God Concepts

Justin L. Barrett and Rebekah A. Richert
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 44, No. 3, Religious and Spiritual Development: Special Issue (Mar., 2003), pp. 300-312
DOI: 10.2307/3512389
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3512389
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Anthropomorphism or Preparedness? Exploring Children's God Concepts
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Abstract

Historically, the development of God concepts in human cognition has been explained anthropomorphically. In other words, for children especially, God is a big, superhuman who lives in the sky. Recent empirical research on the development of these concepts may suggest an alternative hypothesis. In this paper, we review this research and outline the "preparedness hypothesis," which suggests that children may be cognitively equipped to understand some properties of God in a non-anthropomorphic way.

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